Through it all, the Falcons were able to stave off the Bulldogs’ comeback bid en route to an 11-9 league victory on Tuesday afternoon at Crescenta Valley High.
“A very big, wonderful win,” was how Crescenta Valley’s Kelly Anderson described the victory that gave the Falcons (14-5, 4-0 in league) a leg up on the Bulldogs (14-5, 3-1) with just two league matches remaining before the league tournament.
Anderson scored three of her match-high six goals in a first period that saw Crescenta Valley emerge with a 4-0 lead. It was a quick start that provided the Falcons, the seventh-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division IV, with a cushion they would hold onto throughout.
“They came out to a fast start,” said Bulldogs Coach Carlos Pelayo, a Crescenta Valley graduate. “We battled so hard to get back in the game, it’s tough to finish it off.”
With 3:56 left in the first period, Anderson scored her third goal. Thereafter, Burbank, the sixth-ranked squad in the division, was held without a shot.
That began to change in the second quarter, as the Bulldogs held the Falcons scoreless, as Arpi Khanpapyan — who had a team-high three scores — converted the first shot of the quarter into her team’s first goal. Amber Ullo later added another to bring the score to 4-2 at halftime.
The defensive showcase was anything but a foreshadowing of the third quarter.
Less than a minute in, Crescenta Valley’s Sandy Meidinger scored. Nineteen seconds later, Burbank’s Sara Puranan tossed in a perimeter shot. And that’s how the period went, with the two teams going back and forth, exchanging four goals each.
“Our girls were a little nervous [at the beginning],” Pelayo said. “By the third and fourth quarter, at least offensively, they seemed more comfortable.”
It was quite the contrary for the Falcons in terms of their defensive problems.
“I think during the third quarter, we felt some of that nervous energy we suppressed at the beginning,” Anderson said. “Once we were able to calm down and realize we were in control, we were able to execute.”